Sam Ryder Hopes To Score An Emmy Win With His ‘Ted Lasso’ Song – Forbes

“I was sitting in my studio,” singer-songwriter Sam Ryder explained when asked where he found out he was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. “I haven’t got a chair yet, so I was on a makeshift stool that I’d made, working away on some music, and my partner came into the room screaming.”

The British artist co-wrote the track “Fought and Lost” featured on Ted Lasso with Jamie Hartman and Tom Howe. Ryder also provided vocals.

“I knew exactly what it was about because we’d both been keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for this. As soon as she walked in the room, I knew it, and we just gave each other a massive hug,” the singer continued.

While his native UK has no shortage of esteemed musical industry accolades, including the BRIT Awards, getting an Emmy nomination hit differently.

“It just feels like an incredibly glitzy thing. It even sounds cool, and in my opinion, the trophy is the coolest looking trophy out of all the accolades,” Ryder enthused. “I saw it when Hannah Waddingham called me when the nomination list came out. We were screaming at each other on FaceTime, and she was holding hers. It just looks amazing with the lightning wings and everything. It’s right up my street.”

Ryder didn’t anticipate how welcoming the Ted Lasso cast and crew would be, given his level of contribution to the wildly successful show.

“To be amongst such fabulous people behind this show, and I wasn’t part of the TV and film world before this, but I bet you not all productions are like Ted Lasso,” he mused. “I was welcomed into this family atmosphere of all the cast and crew in LA earlier this year ahead of the nominations. I sang for a portion of the song for one minute on the show in the second to last episode of a three-season series, but I was welcomed by those people as if I was part of it from day one. How amazing is that?”

“I felt so at home amongst such lovely people and the show’s spirit, and what it celebrates, to see the values being lived out, when the cameras are off, the lights are down, and it’s just real life is what it’s all about.”

Despite Ryder downplaying his impact, the positioning in the show struck a chord with Ted Lasso fans. When he co-wrote and recorded “Fought & Lost,” he had no idea where or how it would feature in the show. It turned out to be a critical moment.

“I didn’t have a clue,” the singer-songwriter laughed. “I was privy to some information that the Ted Lasso team was looking for an original song, but I had no idea about the scene, I had no idea about the context, and I hadn’t seen the show at that point. That was only because I wasn’t at home for all of last year, so I had no time. I hadn’t watched barely any TV, but I’d heard so much about it, and it was on my list of things to watch.”

“The stars aligned somehow, and I found myself in a studio with Jamie Hartman and Tom Howe. We were chatting about this song and the concept of fighting and losing, and I knew a lot about that from my experiences in the music industry. Believe me, you lose a lot, fail a lot, get told no a lot, and get the emails you send to record labels ignored a lot.”

Ryder continued, “For me, that happened for 15 years before anything started to change, and little crumbs of success started coming. They were little indicators saying, ‘Carry on, keep going, don’t give up, keep the faith, and keep your spirit.’ I’m glad I did because that inspired the song.”

Even when things weren’t going to plan, the Emmy nominee has always held firm to his philosophy that if you don’t try or give up, your fate is sealed, but if you carry on and hang in there, “who knows what could happen.” Getting to work with one of his idols on “Fought and Lost” was proof for him that his mindset works.

“You might be like me, getting off the school bus running upstairs when you’re a kid learning Queen songs on your guitar, and then 15 years later, you might get a phone call from an excited Brian May saying, ‘I’m playing a solo on the song. I love it, and it is in one of my favorite TV shows.’ It might take some time, but the universe works in a funny way,” the artist recalled.

Although relatively unknown in the US, Ryder is a national treasure in his native UK after several false starts in the music industry. After a spell working in construction, a job that saw him help build London’s iconic Wembley Stadium, opening a vegan café with his partner, and a stint as a wedding singer, winning the Eurovision Song Contest as the UK entry changed everything for him. Among other things, chart success and a BRIT nomination followed. Ryder came to be seen as a beacon of hope for many as he played numerous live shows, including a performance at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert and at a tribute concert for Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins at Wembley Stadium, the venue he helped build.

Has “Fought and Lost” opened doors for him in the film and TV industry?

“I believe in myself, and I am optimistic that many doors are open. I’m a stubborn guy, and I have to be because otherwise, I wouldn’t be sat here, and I would have given up a long time ago,” Ryder explained. “The music industry is cynical, and it takes all of your optimism to counteract that. For example, I was jumping for the rooftops when I heard that we got nominated for an Emmy, but within the music industry, I didn’t hear much noise, but that happens in everyone’s lives.”

“I was unknown for most of my life, and I was happy, and I’m incredibly happy now. It’s not because of what the successes have afforded me but because I get to share music with people from all walks of life, and this song especially touches people on completely different levels. Some people I’ve heard from going through end-of-life care, or they’ve lost a relationship, a loved one, or a friend.”

The singer-songwriter continued, “It speaks to people in ways I could never have tried to write for. Music is the magic, everything else that comes after that isn’t the magic, it’s part of it and is to be respected, but it’s not where you should seek your validation. Working in LA, I’m focused on how many amazing writers, producers, and singers I can now get in a room to work with, share moments with, and hopefully create something as we did with this song.”

Ryder is typically low-key, optimistic, and collected about his chances of winning the Emmy, appreciative of the unexpected journey it has taken him on.

“We’re going to keep those fingers crossed, and what will be will be,” he concluded calmly. “I’ve been keeping the faith alive for this long, so I might as well carry on.”

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